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April 1, 2023

Mainers get creative with social media April Fools' gags

Auburn Zip line art on social media Courtesy / City of Auburn Zip, zip, hooray, for a zip line over the Androscoggin River as shown in this April Fool's Day social media post by the city.

Is Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque zip lining across the mighty Androscoggin River to kick off the Auburn Lobster Festival next month?

That's what the city posted on social media over the weekend, along with a colorful promotional image.

"Coming soon: Heart-pounding, adrenaline-filled ADVENTURE: AUBURN!," the city said in its April 1 post. Zip-line across the mighty Androscoggin River and see Auburn in a whole new way. Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque will make the inaugural ZIP across the river to kick off the Auburn Lobster Festival! When you think 'extreme adventure' think Auburn!"

A spokeswoman for the city quickly confirmed that the post was an April Fools' Day gag, while Levesque teased the possibility of making the zip line stunt a reality.

"Remember how the lobster festival started off as an April Fools' joke and now it’s for real?" he told Mainebiz via email. "Anything is possible, and zip lining across the river is absolutely doable." 

Levesque isn't the only politician who took to social media for some April fooling. So did state Rep. Dan Ankeles, D-Brunswick, who shared news of a proposal to make Maine the first state to allow emojis on license plates. The post featured a license plate mock-up showing a whole lineup of emojis from a red lobster (vintage 2018) to a green pine tree.

"This is the kind of innovation that truly makes our state worthy of its motto Dirigo," the lawmaker tweeted.

mock up license plate with various symbols
Courtesy / state Rep. Dan Ankeles
"This is the kind of innovation that truly makes our state worthy of its motto Dirigo," state Rep. Dan Ankeles, D-Brunswick, tweeted on April 1st.

Not to be outdone in the humor department, the Maine Department of Transportation posted about a new space initiative with a very Maine-ish acronym that prompted a host of comments.

"MaineDOT has recognized the need for a dedicated team to manage the ever-growing number of space vehicles and satellites orbiting our planet," the agency posted.  "In collaboration with the FAA, Space Force, and NASA, our newest office, aptly named the Maine Office Of Space Engineers (MOOSE), will be responsible for regulating and managing space traffic in and out of Maine's airspace.

Maine Office of Space Engineers Logo
Courtesy /Maine Department of Transportation
Lost in space? The MOOSE (Maine Office of Space Engineers) has got you covered.

"So next time you look up at the night sky and see a shooting star or an orbital-class plow truck, just remember — it's all being managed by the MOOSE!"

MaineDOT spokesman Paul Merrill said the idea and logo came from colleague Spencer Roberts, who does photography, videography and social media for the department.

"He's a fan of space exploration - obviously!" Merrill said.

Among the replies on Twitter: "If this was a car sticker I’d buy it and I’d put it on my jeep," said one person, while another offered this suggestion: "Put the patch into production for charity, you’ll sell hundreds."

April 1 promotion Rupee Beer
Courtesy / Rupee Beer
Rupee Beer for 1 rupee (or 1 U.S. cent)? Only on April 1st!

Rupee Beer, the Indian lager beer brand founded by brothers Van and Sumit Sharma, added to the April showers of silliness with a one-day April 1st price promotion of 1 rupee, India's national currency that inspired the brand name. The siblings were honored on the Mainebiz 40 under 40 list in 2022.

The promo included prices in four other currencies, including 1 cent in the United States. The post, which also featured a beer mug emoji, noted that rates are subject to change.

At least one respondent was fooled.

"Someone from Canada asked on TikTok if the offer of 1 INR [Indian rupee] was valid in Canada," Van Sharma told Mainebiz. His reaction: "lol," text lingo for "laugh out loud."

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